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Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011


a day at the park with friends!
wow! muscles!
Turkey feast at school!
duck hunting!


Nina and Frazier brought home Anaya

As I look over the past year, my eyes brim with tears. I have watched the LORD move in a mighty way...in many DIFFERENT ways.

Gwen and I have had front row seats to MULTIPLE children that have come home through 147 Million Orphans. When the work load is heavy and the tasks at hand to keep this thing running feels dauntingly IMPOSSIBLE...the children's eyes that we have seen go from dark to light make it all worth it. Their little hearts going from empty and lonely to full of love make all of the hard work a joy instead of hardship. when its your passion, its not really work after all huh?

I am watching my oldest daughter, Grace (almost 16 years), blossom from an awkward teenager into a young lady. Her heart to care and advocate for the orphans of the world puts a smile on my face and joy in my heart. I cherish my time spent with her. The change in Michaels (13 years) diet (gluten free)has been an adjustment to say the least. It has been a little bit of an emotional roller coaster, but are adjusting and he is handling it great. He is the most loving BIG brother that I have ever seen. He knows when to tumble with the boys and when to hug on Josie Love. Annabelle's (10 years) heart is SO SO tender. The Lord has gifted her with so much compassion that it hurts. I have loved watching her grow and thrive in ANYTHING that she attempts physically. She can blend with the older ones, or lead the younger ones.....what a blessing she is! Where would I be without MillerAnne's (8 years) organizational skills? She gets the job done! IF I go out of town, she gets the little ones ready, lunches made, backpacks packed and waiting by the door for them to grab as they exit. She will definitely run a large company one day! My sweet, tender hearted Joshua is now in kindergarten! He is maturing in so many ways. He would surely die without physical touch. Socially, emotionally, and physically he is thriving! Josie Love(almost 6) is thriving also. Strangers can now understand her speech. Her agility is better than i could have EVER imagined. She ACTS like a school girl. She LOVES the structure and the social side of school. not to mention that her life is MIRACULOUS. And last, but certainly not least, Caleb (4 years). He is trying to transition from mama's baby boy to a BIG boy. His emotions are all over the map, and i am praying for patience each and every day! haha Oh how he fills my heart:)

Mike and I are closer than ever. We rely on each other more than I ever thought possible. For those who think the bond of marriage has anything to do with happiness, it doesn’t. These last few years have not been “happy” each and every day. Some days have been just downright crappy. The honest truth is sometimes just bitter to the taste, we’ve found a new normal…much greater than the cheap and often-temporary emotion of happiness. We have discovered a level of joy and gratitude that has reconstituted our marriage, our family, and us.

What a great feeling. For our hearts to feel SO full, that they are overflowing. To rely on HIM for JOY instead of "happiness" that our time here on earth might or MIGHT NOT bring. A NEW NORMAL...OUR normal, that no one else shares. It creates a bond that can never be severed.

While 2011 has brought some heartache, it has brought MUCH more JOY. I am SO thankful for health and LOVE that only comes from our Father. Happy New Year!!!





3 comments:

Jenn Nahrstadt said...

beautiful recap! can't wait to see what this year brings! hope there'll be a day this month when you, me, and gwen can meet in knoxville or somewhere between here and there to chat and dream.

Shauna said...

Beautiful Family! Happy New Year Suzanne! Hope to see you again in 2012.

Anonymous said...

Sweet Suzanne, I love this post. Aunt Brenda is so blessed to have you and Mike and those wonderful children in our lives.

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suzanne
I am a lover of Jesus. I have the most fabulous husband that anyone woman could ask for. The Lord has blessed us with 7 beautiful children. I started this blog so that friends and family could follow our trip to Uganda to visit Katie Davis. I have decided to keep blogging to help bring orphan awareness to the world around me.
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